Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns
Thursday Feb 14, 2019. 09:15
Mamelodi Sundowns manager Pitso Mosimane has criticised the state of the pitch at ASEC Mimosas’ home ground, the Saint Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
ASEC and Sundowns played to a goalless draw in their CAF Champions League Group A match at the venue on Tuesday, a result which keeps the South African side level at the top of the standings with Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca on seven points. The Ivorian hosts and Nigeria’s Lobi Stars are level on four points.
The poor state of the pitch drew the ire of Mosimane, a former coach of the South African national team, who also believes the surface doesn’t allow ASEC to play to their strengths.
“The conditions are difficult for anybody to come here,” he told reporters after the match.
“I don’t think that Wydad will survive here. They’re also technical, they will struggle with the ball bouncing. The humidity will also be a challenge for them. It was too hot for us. We survived. I think that they’ll beat Wydad, and ASEC can also win in Lobi Stars.”
The Brazilians’ boss added, “We couldn’t come to ASEC and play like we’re intelligent people.
“I said it before in the pre-match press conference that we come with respect to ASEC. But I always knew – because I watched their game in Morocco, I watched their game against Lobi Stars, and I also watched the game we played against them – once or twice they make mistakes at the back and give the ball away.
“So we knew that they have wrong passes sometimes at the back and it’s dangerous. But on the opposite side, they are very good on set-pieces.
“We were fortunate that they had a striker who was suspended, because if he had played, they are strong upfront. We knew that we had to monitor their attack well. If you do that well, then you’re okay.”